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CRAFTS AND SEWING

cans of paint in different colors

Crafts Tips

Spray paint small items inside a box or paper bag to keep surrounding area clean.

When you want to save a newspaper clipping for posterity but don't want it to turn yellow, neutralize the acid first. Make your own by adding two tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia to a quart of club soda. Pour the mixture into a shallow pan, and let the mixture in the set overnight in the refrigerator. Add clippings one at a time, letting each one soak for about an hour. As you remove clippings, place them between layers of white paper towels on a flat surface to dry them.

Turn greeting cards into pretty postcards by cutting off the back (where people usually sign their names).

The pretty side of greeting cards can be cut into squares for use as gift tags.

Recycle greeting cards by cutting off the backs and using the blank side for notes or recipe cards.

A greeting card can be used as matting in a picture frame.

To keep beads in order and prevent them from rolling off a table, lay down a strip of double-sided tape. You can also change your pattern if you want before you string a necklace or bracelet.

Check out thrift stores and garage sales for old clothes. They may not be your style or be in great condition, but they just might be full of wonderful buttons for your craft projects.

Stores that carry wallpaper normally get rid of their old sample books when they receive new ones, so ask if you can take them off their hands. The individual "pages" are great for craft projects, as drawer liners, or book covers.

Make glue at home with cornstarch. Put three tablespoons of cornstarch into an old bowl or a paper bowl. Add four tablespoons of water, stir until mixed, add this mixture to two cups of boiling water, then stir until the glue is clear. Pour the mixture into a plastic squeeze bottle or an empty baby food jar.

To remove the homemade glue or any other glue, soak with white vinegar.

White vinegar can thin old glue. Add only a drop of vinegar at a time to the glue and shake the bottle. Add more vinegar if needed.

Postage stamps can be removed easily after putting them in the freezing for a few hours.

To connect two plastic parts, heat a pocket knife over an old flame until it is very hot. Immediately run the knife over both pieces and hold them together to let the two plastic pieces melt together.

As an emergency glue, use nail polish.

Keep a glue cap from sticking by rubbing Vaseline or oil inside the cap.

keep pins sharp and handy

Sewing Tips

Glue part of a tape measure onto the front of your sewing machine.

Use a bean bag filled with sand for your straight pins. Sticking them into the sand will keep them sharp.

Check out thrift stores and garage sales for old clothes. They may not be your style or be in great condition, but they just might be full of wonderful buttons for your sewing projects.

Thrift stores and garage sales are great places for material. You can sometimes find a silk dress for $1 or $2 because it has a stain. There is still a lot of wonderful silk left for a pillow, evening bag, etc.

If you can't get to the store to buy a new sewing machine needle, sharpen it by stitching through a sheet of fine grain sandpaper.

You may not have an exact match when a button comes off a shirt or pants. First, check inside the item - many companies attach an extra button inside somewhere. If not, take a button from an area of the item that does not show (under a collar, inside the waistband, or where a shirt is tucked in). The odd button can go there, and the matching button can replace the one that is obvious.

how to keep scissors sharp and clean

Scissors

Clean scissors by wiping the blades with white vinegar. The vinegar will even remove glue.

Keep scissors sharp by cutting through sandpaper occasionally.

When cutting out a shape, cutting with the part nearest where the two blades meet will allow you to make teeny turns very easily.

make your own craft paint

Make Your Own Craft Paint

Making your own craft paint will save you some money and allow you to know that only safe, healthy ingredients were used.

Add a half cup of cornstarch to 2 cups of water. Bring this to a boil and let it boil long enough to thicken. Remove the pot from the heat and let the white paint cool. Pour the mixture into empty jars and add food coloring to make primary colors.

Add more than one color for in-between colors (blue and red make purple, yellow and red make orange).

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